January 3, 2009

COL BKB: Minnesota 68, Ohio State 59

No. 21 Minnesota held No. 23 Ohio State to 34.6 percent shooting Saturday on the way to a 68-59 Big Ten Conference victory.

After a typical defensive tussle, Minnesota held a 34-24 halftime advantage, and used stifling defense to keep OSU from making a solid comeback effort in the second stanza.

OSU closed to 36-33 on Jeremie Simmons' three-pointer with 18:06 left, but Damian Johnson's layup gave Minnesota its biggest lead, 60-42, with 4:37 left.

Lawrence Westbrook led Minnesota with 15 points.

Johnson totaled 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots.

A total of 10 players scored for the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-1 Big 10), who bounced back from a 70-58 loss to 15th-ranked Michigan State Wednesday.

Evan Turner led Ohio State with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Jon Diebler had 15 points, four rebounds and five steals, but no other player scored in double figures for the Buckeyes (10-2, 1-1), losers of two of three.